Those pesky .MTS files.

SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US Icrontian

A buddy has been shooting video on a JVC GY-HM600 and recording in AVCHD mode. The filetype it records is a .MTS and it doesn't play well with final cut pro 7. I have a method to get the .MTS to a .mp4 and then to a .mov, but there is a terrible loss of quality in the footage. JVC has a plug-in for FCP that is supposed to let you log and transfer into final cut, but it seems broken. Anyone else do video editing that could lend a hand? I've been looking through all kinds of guides but they always end up leading me to a crappy 40 to 100 dollar conversion software that has a single purpose. There has to be a way to do this with out those.


  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited March 2014


    Edit: That would get you from MTS to mp4, but it may not be what you're ultimately after.

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    tSremuxer might work. From what I was reading, you can just rename the files to .mkv and then convert to mp4 when using this program. YMMV

    AVIDemux should work, sort by name and then drag into the window. Again, YMMV since I am not a Mac user and I'm assuming you are (since you mentioned Final Cut Pro)

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    You can also use MEncoder from command line, but that may not be as easy as AVIDemux

    command line and how to install

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    ffmpeg is the encoding king and worth learning given your field.

    download here (windows):
    download here (mac):

    1. extract ffmpeg.exe to c:\ffmpeg (or whatever)
    2. put your mts file in the same folder
    3. open a command window and get to c:\ffmpeg (or whatever)
    4. use/modify this command:
    5. ffmpeg -threads 0 -i source.mts -c:v libx264 -c:a ac3 -qscale 0 output.mp4 (untested)
      ffmpeg -threads 0 -i source.mts -qscale 0 -deinterlace (untested)
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    I knew I was forgetting something! NinjaDanPirateCockHammer to the rescue.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US Icrontian

    While all of these suggestions are extremely useful, they only get me to an mp4 which isn't totally useable in Final Cut Pro 7. I have been able to go down that road and go to mp4 and then to mov, but I lose some quality in the video doing the extra conversion. I'll just have to call JVC and tell them to fix their shit.

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    Did you try the second ffmpeg command I put up which converts directly to mov? If it didn't work what was the error? Ffmpeg usually takes a tad bit of tweaking.

    Also, what audio and video codecs do you want to use in that mov?

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    This solution just uses Final Cut Pro ...

    I think I didn't read correctly when I was first giving advice, hence going to mp4 instead of mov.

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    On further inspection of FCP on Apple (which I've never toyed with) I learned that they want the codec prores. The new ffmpeg versions support it quite well for transcoding!

    So we can simply ask ffmpeg to use prores in the encode, which we need to because my previous suggestion simply copies codecs over since none were specified:

    ffmpeg -probesize 5000000 -threads 0 -i input.mts -c:v prores_ks -profile:v 3 -qscale 3 -vendor ap10 -pix_fmt yuv422p10le

    Now that's a lightly messy ffmpeg command (they can be so much worse), I can explain it if you want.

    I did not specify an audio codec in this command. I doubt FCP cares about the audio codec, I think it just hates avhcd. However, if you want a specific audio codec that can be arranged. The MOV container is pretty slutty with the codecs it plays with if I recall correctly. Transcoding audio may prevent sync issues from happening, but I don't think your frame rate is going to change with the above so it shouldn't be a worry. I changed the video quality from 0 to 3, the filesize change will be great but quality will not be noticeable (higher numbers are lower quality with that parameter)

    also edit:
    @Tushon probably has the easier solution if you can just do the transcode in FCP itself. Still worth learning ffmpeg imo. At least you don't have to deal with directshow.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US Icrontian

    Okay, so FCP has worked all along. I just tested a new recording I just did with my camera in AVCHD mode. You HAVE to have all of the folders and files in order for FCP to pick up the MTS files and log and transfer them. You can't just drop the MTS file by itself and have FCP convert it. Thanks for the help with this guys!

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    Haha nice. Existing solution, best solution.

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